Mystery Shopping is instrumental to retail to enhance customer experience

  • book T-ROC Staff
  • calendar Feb 25, 2022
  • clock 3 mins read



As a consumer, I’ve experienced poor customer service in many retailers and I wonder how companies can improve their customer experience. Should I contact the company’s management, report the incident, or suggest training?  But like most people, I never do, leaving the company blindsided and continuing to provide poor service. As a result of bad customer experiences, consumers are less likely to return to the store or online. An estimated 59% of customers don’t return after a bad customer experience, according to a study by Dimensional Research. And an American Express survey found that more than 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase due to a poor customer experience.


But how would a retailer know about their customer experience—the good and the bad? One solution would be mystery shopping. Mystery shopping is an effective tool for retailers for a variety of scenarios. Mystery shoppers are pre-recruited and qualified consumers who report on their in-store or online interactions, and how well they align with the retailer’s expectations. Online or in-person mystery shopping reveals key customer behaviors, provides feedback on operational efficiencies, and reports brand standards adherence. And telephone mystery shopping allows retailers to evaluate customer voice interactions, monitor telephone sales, and evaluate training initiatives.


Mystery shopping is one of the best ways for retailers to get unbiased insight into the customer experience and use that feedback to improve consumer engagement, retention, and loyalty. All retailers collect customer experience surveys, but they really only tell part of the story. The survey data may indicate solid customer satisfaction numbers, but perhaps revenue and sales numbers are stalled. That’s where mystery shoppers can fill in the details. Mystery shoppers step into the shoes of customers and provide an accurate and objective measure of what’s really happening in stores and online. Without mystery shoppers, retailers are missing out on key information on how to improve. How many customers are you losing due to long hold times on calls? Are consumers getting the same experience on different days and times? Repeat visits can help ensure consistency of service and knowledge, as well as illuminate exactly when your customer experience shines, and where it needs improvements. Is the store layout or online user experience easy to navigate, or do consumers abandon their shopping in frustration?


The good news is that armed with these reports, retailers have the unbiased information they need to make key decisions. Whether it’s developing sales and service standards for performance, associate training on product knowledge or sales, or adding staff to reduce customer wait times, well-implemented mystery shopping programs have been proven to improve retail customer service experience and performance.


T-ROC offers end-to-end solutions for retailers, manufacturers, and brands. To learn more about mystery shopping and how it can improve your retail customer experience, visit


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